Pew's Home Visiting Campaign helps states advance effective policies for home visiting funding, administration and accountability. We work in states where key policy makers and advocates are determined to increase families’ access to voluntary home visiting programs that are shown to achieve meaningful outcomes.
In 2012, Iowa, Maryland, and Michigan enacted laws to ensure that their home visiting dollars get results for new parents and their babies and a solid return on taxpayers’ investment. One important part of these reforms is a requirement that most of the state’s home visiting funds go to programs with rigorous evidence proving their effectiveness.
To help states achieve these quality standards, Pew's Home Visiting Campaign has developed a model policy framework with six policy elements that are critical to strengthening home visiting program effectiveness and accountability. The six components seek to align state home visiting investments with many of the requirements set out in the federal government’s Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
To promote meaningful monitoring, accountability and quality of voluntary home visiting programs, as well as sustainable funding to ensure the best outcomes for families and the highest returns on taxpayer investment, model state policy should:
- Clearly define the purpose and expected outcomes of the home visiting program.
- Invest in home visiting models that have a proven record of success.
- Track public dollars.
- Monitor and evaluate publicly funded programs to ensure effectiveness.
- Target at-risk communities and/or high-risk populations.
- Invest enough money to reach all eligible families.
Each component provides a key piece of a comprehensive home visiting system. While many states might have statutes that set in place one or two pieces of the system, all components are needed to have an effective system that reaches a substantial number of eligible families.
For example, a state home visiting program might have a clear definition of purpose and the outcomes it seeks, but if there is inadequate monitoring or a failure to evaluate, the state will not know if the program’s purpose is realized. Recognizing that each state is at a different stage of developing its home visiting services, the framework provides a variety of policy options and examples for states. We recommend that stakeholders use the framework to create policy solutions tailored to their state, taking into account existing home visiting programs, investments and laws.